Sales & Service: 5 Ways to Combat Complacency


December 17, 2014

Is your business life everything you’d like it to be? Probably not. It might all come down to a topic we all face in both our business and personal lives. It’s a clear and present danger, and each of us has to confront it head-on at some point in time. Perhaps it’s the root problem holding you back from reaching your sales goals or hitting your numbers each year. The competition is not your problem. Your problem is complacency.

I, too, am guilty of letting complacency affect my life. I’ve often found myself uncomfortable with moving forward with new opportunities that might make a positive difference in my company.

But now more than ever, it’s time to focus on customers and not worry about what your competition is doing. You need to concentrate on building a better you. Paying attention to your customers needs puts you on the right track.

Paying too much attention to your competition can make you lose focus on your business. You probably already know the competition in your area, and you’re aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Instead of concentrating on these things, try doing the following.

  1. Look at ways to set your company apart with your service offerings and sales processes. What makes you different? Ensure the customer experience you’re delivering is what you’d expect.
  2. Communicate your message to your team so everyone is on the same page of the same playbook. Making sure they deliver what you promise is paramount.
  3. Don’t take customers for granted. If you neglect customers, they will look elsewhere for a better service provider. Competition in today’s business world is tough. You must learn to treat all customers like they’re the most important you have. In other words, treat them like royalty.
  4. Recognize change will only make you better in the long run if you’ve made the right choices. Anticipate changes that could affect your business plan and always be ready to learn new ways to succeed.
  5. Be aware that you’re neither too big nor too special to fail. Just read Jim Collins book How the Mighty Fall. It examines how many companies, some more than 100 years old, have fallen in the past few years.

Throughout history, leadership complacency has afflicted thousands. Remember the Roman Empire? Look at General Motors — once a powerhouse, but the federal government had to step in and save them.

If you’re not on top of your game at all times, the dysfunction complacency causes can creep into your life and business, and you’ll be left behind. Complacency has kept me from reaching some of my goals, but I have the knowledge and understanding that complacency is the evil that we must all continue to battle every day.

It’s time to identify complacency in your life and business so you can defeat it.

You can reach Johnson, a past president of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), president of Sevierville, Tenn.-based Johnson Pest Control, and founder of ACES for Business, at



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